Hands-On Time
15 Mins
Total Time
3 Hours
Serves 12
José Picayo

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat oven to 350° F. Rub the oil on the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet.

Step 2

Using a sharp paring knife, cut ½-inch-deep slits all over the lamb, about every inch or two. (Don’t skimp; you should make about 50 cuts.) Stuff the garlic into the slits. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1½ teaspoons pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes (to deepen the flavors and to allow the meat to come to room temperature so that it roasts evenly).

Step 3

Place the lemon slices, slightly overlapping, on the prepared sheet; top with 2 of the rosemary sprigs. Top with the lamb and the remaining 3 rosemary sprigs. (Make sure that all the lemon slices are tucked under the lamb to keep them from burning.)

Step 4

Roast the lamb, basting with the pan juices every 15 to 20 minutes (beginning halfway through the cooking time), until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the lamb (avoiding the bone) registers 145° F, 1½ hours to 1 hour, 45 minutes.

Step 5

Loosely tent the lamb with foil and let rest for 20 minutes before slicing perpendicularly to the bone. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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